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WILLISTON, Vt. -- The tipster from Illinois first called the Department of Homeland Security's hotline here on Feb. 15, when he reported that while he was helping a "Russian lady" change a flat tire, he saw a pipe bomb in the trunk of her car.
The tip set off a public safety alert in central Illinois, where state police and Naperville authorities responded to a bulletin from the DHS. The dragnet finally ended Feb. 21, when officers found the woman, her car and a device in the trunk.
DHS hotline: Weak terrorism tips point to gold locally